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hi·jack also high·jack (hījăk)
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tr.v. hi·jacked, hi·jack·ing, hi·jacks also high·jacked or high·jack·ing or high·jacks
1.
a. To seize control of (a vehicle such as an airplane or bus) by use of force, especially as a way of reaching an alternate destination or as an act of terrorism.
b. To kidnap (a person in a vehicle): people who have experienced the trauma of being hijacked.
c. To stop and rob (a vehicle in transit).
d. To steal (goods) from a vehicle in transit.
2.
a. To take control of (something) without permission or authorization and use it for one's own purposes: dissidents who hijacked the town council; spammers who hijacked a computer network.
b. To steal or appropriate for oneself: hijacked her story and used it in his own book.
n.
The act or an instance of hijacking.

[Probably back-formation from highjacker, perhaps from jacker, holdup man, from JACK, to jacklight.]

hijacker n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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